Fertility for Black Women – Why are AFRICAN AMERICANS more likely to battle INFERTILITY?
The research is clear. Black women, women of color, are twice as likely to have infertility issues than White women, but they’re also half as likely to seek out the care and treatment and support that they need when they’re struggling through the fertility process. The reality is this is just not okay. Regardless of the color of your skin, we all need the proper support. And that’s why this video is going to be talking about the needs and the support that all women of color should be getting to get the results that they want on their fertility journey. I work with and coach so many couples of color. And when I tell you that there’s so much that can be done, should be done, to get the results that I know are possible, I’m telling you from experience. So I want you to keep watching so that you can learn what you need to do to get the results that you deserve.
My name is Dr. Marc Sklar, also known as the Fertility Expert. Welcome to Fertility TV, your YouTube channel dedicated to helping you get pregnant. I’ve been working with couples from all over the world, and of every color, for the last 18 years. And I help all of you through my online programs, and my private consultations, whether you’re here locally in San Diego at one of my clinics, or you’re visiting me virtually from anywhere in the world.
Before we get started, I just want to give a quick shout out to the sponsor of this video, Fairhaven Health. If you’ve been watching for any amount of time, you know that Fairhaven Health and their fertility products are my go-to recommendation for all of you. So if you need some lubricants, some great fertility supplements, that is where I want you all to go and check out. To check out their products and to learn more about them, you can just use the link below in the description of this video. Now let’s get into the meat of the topic.
So as we get started on this topic, I want to start off with some statistics. I want to make sure that we’re all working from the same information and same knowledge. So I’m going to be looking down at my notes, so if you see me look down, that’s why. But let’s start with some statistics, and then we’re going to get into what can be done and why it should be done. All right? So first and foremost, infertility impacts at least 12% of reproductive age women, okay? We’re not even including the men here, we’re just talking about women. And that equates to about one in eight women in the United States. Of those, Black women are twice as likely to have infertility issues and struggle with fertility as White women, right?
So of those 12%, colored women are going to be twice as likely to have difficulties conceiving. And despite that huge discrepancy, they’re also 50% less likely to get the care that they need and deserve, right? They’re 50% less likely to go out and not only seek the care, but get the care. That number equates to about 8% of all women of color who need support and help with fertility, seek it out. So only 8% are seeking out the care that they need, which is a very, very small number. We need to change that, and we need to provide the right and proper support for them.
Another staggering statistic is that Black women are 50% more likely to have fibroids. Fibroids are masses in and around the uterine cavity or organ, depending on where it is, it could be in multiple locations. And this absolutely can impact fertility and the ability to hold a pregnancy as well.
Another issue that faces couples of color, in general, is that they don’t have as many options. You don’t have as many options to get a donor, whether it’s a sperm donor, or egg donor, if that is the path that you need or want to go down. There’s less women or men of color donating their sperm and egg to give you appropriate choices when you are faced with those decisions.
So these are some important statistics that really need to be addressed and supported, and more importantly, changed. We need to change these numbers. We need to provide the proper support, the proper care and treatment, right? And the proper medical options necessary for any couple, but especially those who haven’t been getting it.
So I’ve just laid out the statistics. Now let’s discuss the problem. Okay. The first problem is getting the proper care. Getting the proper care is essential. So, either you, as an individual watching this, aren’t going out and searching for the care that you need and deserve, or you’re being dismissed and pushed off. What I have found personally, when I have worked with couples of color, is that they end up seeking care much later, so we have much more time that gets wasted and not used proactively to get the proper care that they need. Or for those who have searched out for care sooner, they are dismissed very quickly and not given the proper resources as well. And that really needs to change. Just like any woman or man or couple going through fertility issues, there’s a lot that you can do on your own to start to make changes and to be more proactive in your fertility care.
Another problem that I just discussed, but I’m going to go into it a little bit more, in more detail, is that couples of color are dismissed, right? They are pushed aside and not given the same attention. And this comes down to my third point, which is a problem, is that you also need to advocate more for yourself, and these go hand-in-hand. So I believe, and I’ve said this many, many times, regardless of the color of your skin, you need to be your own advocate on your health journey, and in life as a whole, but especially since I’m talking about fertility, in your reproductive health. And so if you’re being dismissed, you need to find a doctor, physician, a healthcare provider, that is willing, able, and knowledgeable enough to support you on your journey and give you the attention that you deserve.
And that comes to my third point, which is advocating for yourself. You need to be able to speak up, and be direct, and get the care that you need. And again, part of advocating means maybe making a different decision, choosing to go see somebody else who’s going to give you the care that you need versus staying in the same system and with the same providers who aren’t giving you what you deserve. So I want you to speak up a little bit more, and I want you to take a little bit more control of your fertility process into your own hands so that you can get the proper care that you need.
Being able to take control of your fertility and your health and reproductive function comes down to a lot of lifestyle factors, which you have direct control over. The first one is diet. I speak about this all the time. We need to improve our diet and make better choices. We know what junk food is, right? We know that fast food is not good for us. We know that sodas are not good for us. We know that all these sugary products and processed foods and packaged foods are not good for us. If you don’t, and you’re watching this, I’m here to tell you that they’re not good for you, and we need to start eating cleaner, healthier food.
And you have to start making better choices for yourself. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m saying it’s necessary. And we all have to start somewhere. And diet is number one on my list because it helps with the foundational things that need to be changed so we can build from there. So, number one, for all of you watching, is improve your diet. If you didn’t already know that, I’m here to tell you that for sure, in this statement, that diet is the first thing that you need to change. And I want to see you start to take control of that and modify the diet that you have right now to make it cleaner, healthier, whole food, more cooking at home, less junk, less processed food.
Number two, okay, of things that you can be doing to take control of your fertility is exercise. Exercise is huge, it changes so many things. First of all, if you have a poor diet, you are more likely to be obese. If you’re more likely to be obese, you are more likely to have too much estrogen in the body, which I mentioned before, the propensity for fibroids with women of color, this all comes down to lifestyle choices, and back to dietary choices, because if we can manage diet, reduce obesity, reduce your estrogen levels, the likelihood of having more problems with fibroids decreases.
What’s one of the ways that we can manage our overall health and manage our weight is exercise. So increase our exercise, we want to get about three to four hours of exercise a week, moderate exercise, I want you moving, right? That can help tremendously to lower your weight, to lower your BMI, and to give you a higher chance of conception. It helps you regulate your hormones, and releases endorphins and makes you feel good, feel happier, think clearer and make better choices. When we are not thinking clearly, when we are not functioning properly, we crave all that junk that we don’t want. And that’s the time when we need to make better decisions, and that’s the time where it’s more difficult for us to make those decisions. I want to make it easier for you, and that also goes into exercising. So diet and exercise go together. Those are my first two tips for all of you watching that need to be improved.
Number three, I’m putting it under a lifestyle variable, but you might think of it in other ways. Birth control. Women of color are more likely to be put on the birth control pill, and in some cases, that may be appropriate. But the reality is, is you have choices you’re just not being told that you have choices, okay? Birth control pill, long-term use of the birth control pill, can cause many issues, many of which I see in the couples that I work with on their fertility journeys. You have choices when it comes to birth control. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be mindful of birth control, I’m saying I want you to choose different options. And my number one suggestion for all of you when it comes to birth control and managing your birth control is using something other than the pill. How about condoms? Yeah, I get it. It’s not as fun, not as enjoyable, but it’s safe, it’s effective, and it’s not putting any unnecessary or unwanted chemicals or medication into your body that can have long-term and profound effects on your reproductive function.
So, I want you to make better choices when it comes to birth control. I know often you don’t feel like you have that choice and you’re not given a choice, but you do, and you can make other choices when it comes to birth control. My number one suggestion is the use of condoms. The other thing, when it comes to birth control, is just knowing your cycle. If you know how long your cycle is, if you know when you’re ovulating, you can be more careful during your ovulation window and make better choices. That’s the time to use a condom. That’s the time to be more careful. And if you are more aware of what your body’s telling you, and how your body is functioning when it comes to menstruation, ovulation, and your whole cycle, then you could control that more effectively and make better choices.
And one of the most important things that you can do to take care of your fertility, improve your reproductive function, and get the support that you need and deserve, is get the proper support. So I have two resources for you all watching when it comes to getting the proper support. First and foremost, I am holding a free training at the end of this month, at the end of February, to give you the tools to figure out what’s going on with your fertility and start to be able to create a plan for yourself to get the results that you deserve. So if you want to join my free training, and I know that you all do, and should be joining me, then I want you to use the link in the description below to register for that free training.
Additionally, for all you women of color, there is a support group that was created specifically for all of you. It’s called Fertility for Colored Girls. I want you all to get the support that you deserve. This organization is in the United States. It’s growing all the time and has an increased amount of women who have joined that organization to get the proper support that they need, and support each other, to get the fertility care that you deserve. I want you all to check out that organization, Fertility for Colored Girls, and join my free training so that I can support you, as well, to get the results that you need and deserve.
I want to hear from all of you. First and foremost, was this topic valuable for you? Did it speak to you? Just comment below, give me a simple yes or no. If you’re a woman or couple of color, have you been getting the support that you need? Do you need more support? I want to hear from you as well, comment below and let me know. And, if you’re ready to go join my free training and get more support, then definitely use the link below in the description to do that, and comment below and tell me that you’ll be joining, because I want to hear from all of you and I want you to join me there so that I can support you and answer all your questions to get you the results that you deserve.
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Again, comment below. Let me know what you think, because your comments below not only allow me to know you think and know what you want in future videos, but it also allows this video to be seen by more women who need to hear this and need to get the support that they deserve as well. So shoot me a comment below, let me know what you think about this video.
Until the next video, I want you all to stay safe, stay healthy, get the care that you deserve, so start making changes, and stay fertile.